Apex NC - The Headquarters of Epic Games

Apex NC is where the headquarters of Epic Games is located. Read more about what our Apex chiropractors have to say about this leader of the gaming industry.

Epic Games

Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, Unreal, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade series of games. Epic's Unreal Engine technology brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, AR, VR and the Web.

Epic Games is expanding its headquarters campus off Crossroads Boulevard in Apex, NC. The maker of video games, including the wildly popular “Fortnite,” will make room for up to 2,000 new employees with the Wake County expansion project. The company also created “Gears of War” and the “Infinity Blade” series.

“We know that Epic could locate anywhere in the world, and we’re grateful that they’ve chosen to continue to call Apex home,” said Apex Mayor Harold Weinbrecht.

In 2015, in preparation for the expansion, Epic purchased an 8.2-acre property next to its existing campus at the corner of Crossroads Boulevard and Jones Franklin Road.

Epic is working with workspace consultant Foster + Partners, architects JDavis, and JLL for construction project management. The new building will make room for an estimated 1,750 to 2,000 additional employees. The expansion will encompass between 450,000 to 500,000 square feet, plus 1,400 additional parking spaces. Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in 2020, and take three to four years.

The video game maker has more than 1,000 employees worldwide, including hundreds in ApexMr. Sweeney founded Epic in 1991 from his parents’ basement, at age 20, funding it with $4,000 in personal savings. He later dropped out of the University of Maryland a few credits shy of a mechanical-engineering degree. “I went from mowing lawns to being CEO of Epic,” said Mr. Sweeney, who got his diploma in 2018.

In its early years, the company had some success with a handful of games, including “Unreal Tournament” and “Gears of War,” that followed more traditional shoot-’em-up formats.

Videogamers play Epic’s “Gears of War 2” for the Xbox 360 at the E for All trade show in 2008. PHOTO: RICHARD VOGEL/ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Fortnite” was born in 2011 out of one of Epic’s occasional “game jams” where developers could experiment with ideas. With a subtitle called “Save the World,” it cost $40 and wasn’t especially compelling because players didn’t compete directly against each other.

No one expected it to be a hit. “The original plan was to go really small with it,” said Mr. Sweeney. “Fortnite” sold only about a million units after it launched in July 2017, a dud by today’s blockbuster-driven standards.

What came next was a series of decisions by Mr. Sweeney and his team that turned “Fortnite” into one of the most popular videogames ever. Epic created a second version, or “mode,” in the Battle Royale genre and made it free.

While many free games make money charging for souped-up weapons and superhero powers, Epic resolved not to charge for things that would help gamers triumph over each other. Instead, Epic sold cosmetic add-ons such as dance moves, in some cases for a brief period, making them must-haves like a pair of limited-edition Air Jordan sneakers, only much cheaper.

Then, Mr. Sweeney brokered the deals that broke down the walls between the videogame console makers. “We felt that basically everybody would be playing ‘Fortnite’ with their friends if there were not a barrier to entry,” he said.
“Fortnite” is a kill-or-be-killed game. But it's bloodless, cartoon style (you can play as a banana) was welcomed by gate-keeping parents weary of the hyperviolence in many of today’s games. That wasn’t necessarily a design decision as much as an outcome of Epic’s evolution.

Ironman 3 had some scenes shot at the Apex Epic location Iron Man 3 continues the epic, big-screen adventures of the world’s favorite billionaire inventor/Super Hero, Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. Executive producers on the project include Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard and Dan Mintz.